Psychological Defenses and Coping Styles in Patients Following a Life-Threatening Attack of Asthma: Results
The 25 patients were comprised of 19 women and six men. Their mean age was 35.7 years (range 18 to 68, standard deviation 13.3). The mean age of the men was 39.5 years (range 18 to 68, standard deviation 18.8) and the women was 34.4 years (range 19 to 57, standard deviation 11.1). Seven patients were single and 18 were married or in de facto relationships. The study interviews took place in the outpatient setting on average 13 months following the NMAD (range 1 to 58 months), and all patients were medically stable at the time of interview. All patients had comprehensive respiratory function tests performed which confirmed the diagnosis of asthma. These will be reported separately. The average age of the patients at the time of their diagnosis of asthma was 17 years but more than one half of them were diagnosed in early childhood (Fig 1). cheap-asthma-inhalers.com
The patients were, on average, 34 years old at the time of their NMAD, but there was a wide distribution of ages (Fig 2). Nineteen of the 25 patients had less than ten hospital admissions in their lifetime for asthma and in four patients, the near miss asthma death was their first hospitalization. Six patients had multiple admissions including four patients who had had about 100 admissions each during their lives. The distribution of these results makes the average for each patient of 22 admissions for asthma before their near miss death of little significance. Eight patients had suffered previous near miss death experiences from asthma, and one patient had a total of six of these experiences. Seventeen of the patients had a positive family history of asthma in a first degree relative, five a positive family psychiatric history in a first degree relative, and seven patients had seen a psychiatrist themselves at some stage before the index NMAD. One other patient had treatment for a posttraumatic stress disorder following her NMAD before partaking in this study.
Ten of the 25 patients were allocated a DSM III psychiatric diagnosis at the time of clinical interview by one of us (PMY). Nine of these diagnoses were anxiety disorders with seven patients suffering from panic disorders and two from posttraumatic stress disorders. One patient was diagnosed as suffering from a major depressive illness. One other patient, while presenting with symptoms suggestive of a posttrau-matic stress disorder, had evidence of hypoxic brain damage that had occurred during her NMAD and which was confirmed on formal neuropsychologic testing. This patient has consequently not been included as a psychiatric case in this analysis.
Figure 1. Age of NMAD patients at diagnosis of asthma.
Figure 2. Age of NMAD patients at NMAD.
Tags: Asthma, attack of asthma, coping styles, psychiatric disorder